Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

25 Years of Lethal Violence

How many men and women die per year at the hands of others? What are the motives behind these killings? Are there as many homicides today as years ago? How can we explain the rise and fall of homicides over time? And: What is the influence of (early) childhood and adolescence on the likelihood to commit violent crimes later in life? This project seeks to answer these and other questions.

2017 - 2018
Marieke Liem
Leids Universiteits Fonds (Lustrumsubsidie) Leids Universiteits Fonds (Lustrumsubsidie)

As opposed to other Western countries, the Netherlands does not have a long tradition of studying the trends, pattern and explanations of homicide. In light of this vacuum, this study sets out to systematically address homicide in the Netherlands over the last 25 years. We also seek to provide insight into different types of homicides, including domestic homicides, criminal homicides, robbery homicides and sexual homicides.


This project constitutes an inter-faculty collaboration between dr Marieke Liem, at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, and prof dr Lenneke Alink, at the Faculty of Social Sciences. In the project, we are actively collaborating with Elsevier journalist Gerlof Leistra.


Over the course of 18 months (2017-2018), our findings will be reflected in a studium generale, in a joint popular science book, and a series of academic papers.

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